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Facebook to Have Half Its Staff Work Remote Permanently

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"Moving to more remote work, I think, will give us the opportunity to advance some of the important future technology that we're working on", Zuckerberg said adding that the company builds things to help people communicate.

And those who choose to work where the cost of living is less should expect to be paid less. But the company also has a cool vision for remote work, one that involves VR and AR, and looks straight out of a sci-fi film.

Among Facebook employees, 40% said they were extremely, very or somewhat interested in full-time remote work, and among that subset of employees, 75% said they were either pretty confident or they might move to a different city if they could work remotely, Zuckerberg said. "There'll be severe ramifications for people who are not honest about this".

The news is another sign work-from-home policies may be here to stay for the internet industry, which continues to operate despite COVID-19.

Existing employees will be offered the option of working remotely permanently if they meet certain criteria. Facebook may also reconsider employees' compensation if they do want to relocate. The median home price in Menlo Park, Calif., where the tech giant has its headquarters, is $2.4 million, according to Zillow, while the median home price in the wider Bay Area was $928,000 previous year.

The company, one of Silicon Valley's biggest employers, is giving USA staffers who are approved to work remotely until January 1, 2021 to update the company on where they plan to base themselves, at which point their salaries will be adjusted to reflect the local cost of living. Along with way, Zuckerberg said that Facebook has learned some valuable lessons.

Despite the more lax approach to remote workforces, Facebook will still take a candidate's geography into consideration and sort them into three categories: those that live within a four-hour drive of existing offices, those that live near cities where the company wants to establish itself more and those living in rural areas. "Certainly being able to recruit more broadly, especially across the USA and Canada to start, is going to open up a lot of new talent that previously wouldn't have considered moving to a big city".

The company will initially ramp up remote work for new and existing employees in the U.S. and Canada, focusing on experienced workers, especially senior engineers. The company has said that most staff can keep working from home through the end of the year, and has canceled gatherings of more than 50 people through June 2021.

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